Clasac Centre for Traditional Arts

Clasac Centre for Traditional Arts
Alfie Byrne Road, Clontarf, Dublin 3
Site Area
2055 sq m
13 months. October 2006 to November 2007
Project Value

Project Background and Brief

CLASAĊ Traditional Arts Centre has been developed to act as a regional resource centre for the promotion and development of the traditional arts in accordance with Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann's Five Year Development Programme. The centre will promote Irish music, song and dance associated with Ireland's rich cultural heritage. The new centre will act as a resource centre for the eastern region for Comhaltas, providing facilities for performance and teaching, rehearsal, recreation and research. It will serve to entertain and educate both domestic and overseas visitors.


The site on the Alfie Byrne road in Clontarf was donated by Dublin City Council and is on landfill reclaimed from Dublin Bay. The long rectilinear site is sandwiched between the busy Alfie Byrne Road to the front and railway lines to the rear. The centre is the first building to be developed along the Alfie Byrne Road.


The centre consists of two distinct forms; the angular theatre and the geometric ancillary building.

The main space of the 320 seat theatre is designed as four pivoting, stepped segments to make it a more informal and dynamic space and allow sub-division for smaller performances. This also allows for flexibility of seating arrangements for banqueting as well as seating in rows. The theatre is externally clad with silver aluminium panels with double height windows and cedar cladding in the joints between the segments. These sequentially reveal themselves on moving past the building.

A semi-sunken bar and teach ceoil form the base of the theatre building expressed externally in grey render. The teach ceoil allows for more intimate performances and set dancing.

The geometric ancillary wing accommodates offices and archive, classrooms, dressing rooms, recording studio, kitchen and ancillary.

The main entrance is at the junction with the theatre building. This long rectilinear wing acts as a buffer between the theatre and the railway track behind.

The materials of the building reflect a juxtaposition between modern and more natural materials; the modern silver aluminium and grey render with the more natural iroko windows, cedar cladding and granite cladding. This theme is carried to the interior with and stone tiled and oak floors contrasting with smooth white plaster walls and glass and stainless steel balustrades.

A semi-sunken amphitheatre for informal outdoor performance is the focus of the outdoor space.

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